TW/CW: mention of self-harm and suicidal thoughts and attempts
Confusion in her eyes that says it all.
She’s lost control.
And she’s clinging to the nearest passer by,
She’s lost control.
And she gave away the secrets of her past,She’s Lost Control – Joy Division
And said I’ve lost control again,
And a voice that told her when and where to act,
She said I’ve lost control again.
I have been a bit silent lately. I tend to write longer blogposts quite regularly, no matter what my mental health looks like. One of my few skills is to push through even when I am struggling. I care about my blog, and I want to create content that is both interesting and that I can be proud of. But sometimes, just like everyone else, I lose my mojo. And I plan for that. I know how to handle that. So when I post a little less, I don’t beat myself up. I take control of the situation and adjust. I am very self-aware and I have come to a place where I am even accepting of that I can’t always function.
I have written a post on self-control before, and how it is my survival strategy. For me it is not about things like not eating that piece of cake, or drinking that glass of wine. For me it is about not ruining my life. It is about not taking that razorblade and cutting open my arms for the millionth time, or about making yet another suicide attempt. I know that it sounds very extreme, but let’s be real here, because that is my reality. So if I lose control over myself, then I am in danger.
Usually, I have very strong self-control. I don’t switch when I am talking to people, I know how to stop panic attacks and flashbacks before they get out of hand. I know what to do, to regain control. Because I know where it would lead if I slipped just once.
I don’t usually talk about how I am doing in the moment on this blog. I don’t likes sharing or venting. I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice or invalidating sympathy. I hate being vulnerable. So this is pretty much a bit out of the ordinary. But I feel like that I sort of need to write more, and I don’t have the head for cheery or informative posts. This is not what my life looks like at all at the moment.
Let’s be honest, things are rarely stable for me. But I have better and worse days. That is closely linked to my bipolar disorder and the different episodes, but also if there are any triggers happening and how my physical health is holding up. Stability is a fragile entity in my life, and it barely stays for long. Right now, it has disappeared.
I already felt myself sliding into depression about six weeks ago. There was no particular trigger. I get depression because of my bipolar disorder, and I can usually handle it well, especially when it is not a deep one. But this time, I am terribly overwhelmed with it. I think it has a lot to do with my lack of sleep. I always struggle with insomnia. Back in Sweden I was on sedatives for my flashbacks and anxiety, and on sleeping medication for my insomnia. I still didn’t sleep perfectly but it was a lot better than it is right now. I can’t fall asleep, I jolt awake dozens of times during the night in utter panic (I suspect nightmares I don’t remember), the slightest noise or movement wakes me up (hypervigilance) and I don’t stay in bed for longer three to four hours a night. I have had it like that every fucking (excuse my English but gah!) night for the last six weeks.
I can’t take it anymore. I feel like I am losing my mind because of it. It has my anxiety sky high, I can’t focus on anything and my body is utterly shattered. The lack of restful sleep, or sleep at all, is making my physical illnesses worse. And I am always on edge. The insomnia in combination with the depression is terrible. I don’t even know how to explain it. I don’t have the mental energy to fight the depression, and to keep on top of things. I want to give up. It seems so meaningless, everything. Now, you will say, that is your depression talking, Devie. Only, it is just partly my depression.
I could mention the pandemic. But it isn’t as simple as that. It has put everyone’s lives on hold. For most people it means that they can’t meet their friends, go to the gym or travel. For me it is a bit suckier than that. I had just sent in my application for permanent residency in a new country right before it all started, and I am now stuck in that country without anything.
Meaning: no work permit, no health insurance, no residency. I am sort of in between chairs. I sent in the application in the beginning of February, and immigration only got in touch a couple of weeks ago saying that they have now registered it. If the process had gone normally, I would have already had my work permit and health insurance (you can only apply for that if you have a work permit). And things seem to be all messed up because they require a fingerprint and a picture that is taken at a government facility for a work permit. But all those have been closed for months and there is no plan in reopening them. So it might take years for me to get the papers I need. At this point I have been without health insurance for almost two years. I. Who has severe mental illness. Have no access to professional help. Also not for my physical illnesses, like the Hashimoto’s and the diabetes.
I understand. I am not questioning why it takes so long. But it puts me in a helpless position. I could get a private psychiatrist, sure. But immigration has access to all data from doctors, and to be honest, if they would find out how fucked up I am, and if I get an unfriendly agent’ it might affect my application negatively. But shit, I need sleeping medication, and sedatives. And I need regular contact with professionals. To be fair, I know that I need to be inpatient at a hospital at the moment. But there is no way for me to do that. It would cost so so so so much money, and I am quite sure it would be some sort of red flag for immigration.
It is shocking that I have ended up in this situation. In Sweden, I had a fantastic psychiatrist who knew me well, who knew how badly I react to medication, and prescribed the meds that I needed, no questions asked. I had the best trained trauma focused therapist. And I gave that up to move in with my partner in another country. I miscalculated, and now I am stuck with no help. For two years already, and probably another few years. And I blame myself for it. I made the decision. And I fucked up my life even more.
So that puts me in a very shitty position, and I feel helpless and hopeless. So so much. Add to that the impossibility of making real life friends, and that I am stuck in a tiny apartment day after day. My Master goes to work, and I just count the hours until he gets home. He is my only support at the moment. And I am starting to feel like a burden to him. I know that I am not choosing to be this way. But I can’t help but fear that he will abandon me because it gets too much for him. I wouldn’t blame him, at all.
Right. So depression. Terrible insomnia. No help, no support system, no medication. Uncertainty about my residency. Those are the reasons why things have been sliding. But I still tried. I registered for a Master’s course at a Swedish university. I continued to do my sexwork. I exercised. I ate healthily. And I blogged. Things have been sliding more and more though. I had to take “survival days” where I couldn’t even open my laptop. Suicidal thoughts took over a lot. I lost my motivation for a lot of things.
And then it was my birthday yesterday. Birthdays are very triggering days for me. They are the days that we take inventory, don’t we? We look at what we have achieved, who we are. And here I am, being nothing. I have no real job and no real income. I have no friends. I don’t even have a pet. I am in my late 30s and I have no children. The list goes on and on. I knew that the day would be terrible. My Master knew it would be.
It started with that my father tried to contact me during the night (because he sucks at time zones, I assume). I had blocked him everywhere about one and a half years ago, and had cut him out of my life. He is the reason for most of my mental illnesses. He mentally, physically and sexually abused me as a child. For years. He is not allowed in my life anymore. But seeing his number pop up on my phone, I froze. Part of me wanted to answer because he has conditioned me to. I want to be a good daughter. Part of me went into instant panic mode. I didn’t pick up. But him calling me put me in a dangerous headspace.
Then my mother called me. I hadn’t spoke with her in months. I picked up because I actually like her. But I knew it would be a difficult and emotional call. And that is what it turned out to be. I had to explain a lot to her. We talked a lot about the past, I had to share traumatic experiences with her that she didn’t know about. I had to express my anger towards her for staying with an abuser for my whole childhood. It was a difficult phonecall. I was definitely not in the right headspace for it.
But I tried to make the best of the day. I promise. I tried. I baked a cake. I went out for a long walk at the beach (in the smoke, which was sort of surreal). I did everything I was supposed to. And my Master was by my side. He helped me to distract myself. I felt the anxiety and the despair and helpless, the self-hatred and the need to just end it all. It was there. But I thought if I pushed all that away just for this day, it will be better tomorrow. And I wasn’t alone.
Until. Until my Master got a phonecall, went into the bedroom and closed the door behind himself. And there I was, alone. Everything hit me at once and I became impulsively suicidal. I wanted to die. I didn’t want to anymore. My life is nothing. There is fucking no light at the end of the tunnel. But no no, I thought, get a grip, push through. Do it. Push push. So I pushed through. I listened to music and cleaned like a maniac. I cleaned the whole livingroom. But when my Master came back, I couldn’t snap into normal mode anymore. I couldn’t be calm anymore. I was so tense. I couldn’t.
I went into the bathroom to find something to self-harm with. I tried to disassemhle a disposable shaver (sad skills you learn in psych units) but failed. I totally lost all control. I couldn’t communicate anymore. I was stuck in my own pain so much that nothing else mattered. I was convinced that my Master would be better off without me. I tried to set my hair on fire. I tried to run out of the apartment barely dressed, to jump in front of cars. I smashed my birthday cake on the floor, on purpose. I screamed. I cried. I yelled. I paced. I had panic attacks and flashbacks. I had an epic breakdown that lasted for hours.
It all culminated in that I was on the balcony (we live on the 11th floor), and I tried to jump onto the wall of the balcony so I could jump down. My Master had to violently grab me and then lied on top of me on the bed for a while until I had calmed down a little. That didn’t stop me from trying to run to the balcony 30 minutes after that, or to get another flashback and to cry for hours on end. After that, my Master didn’t leave my side until I finally convinced him to go bed because he has to work in the morning.
I lost control. And the only reason for me to be alive right now, is my Master. And I feel like such a burden because he has to be by my side when I am this out of control. I feel so guilty. But I also feel nothing at the moment. I am dissociated from my emotions. I am like a robot. I can function on a basic level but I don’t feel human at all. And I still have those urges. I still think those thoughts. I know that I should be at a psych unit right now. But that is not an option that is available to me. So what do I have left? I need to push really hard to regain some self-control. I have nothing else. It all comes down to me. And I sort of don’t want to. Because what does it matter? There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
And she turned around and took me by the hand and said,
I’ve lost control again.
And how I’ll never know just why or understand,
She said I’ve lost control again.
And she screamed out kicking on her side and said,She’s Lost Control – Joy Division
I’ve lost control again.
And seized up on the floor, I thought she’d die.
She said I’ve lost control.